Lesser known facts about our faith, folkways, and history
by Viktor C. Lesson
by Viktor C. Lesson
Where are the Gods, a Realm, a Dimension, or...?
A question often emerges in those who delve deeper into Asatrś lore than the 'mythology' Christian-oriented historians teach, or those who take their facts filtered through hostile interpreters. It is one of cosmology. Granted, we are not, as moderns, able to readily comprehend the world-views and assumptions of medieval Norsefolk, but, what did they think of the Deities, the Gods and Goddesses of our religion? What should we think?
We could, and many do, adapt an alternate, Pagan, cosmology, where the Gods and Goddesses are beings, real enough, to be sure, who don't ordinarily manifest themselves in our reality. This is assumed to be so because they could be said to live in a different dimension, or, even, a different energy state. In Nyall philosophy, however, it is assumed that Gods and Goddesses are actual, living beings on some other planet out there, with flesh and blood bodies like ours, but who are at a much higher stage of evolution.
Modern Pagans, influenced by Carl Jung's thought, sometimes suggest that deities become real through the thought-projections of generations of Pagans, past, and present (as time might be said to have no influence in the realm of consciousness), who hold their images and infuse these with their hopes, dreams, wishes, and prayers. In this view, any deity, anywhere, could, indeed, become real and become potentiated, so as to inspire healing, miracles, or other paranormal phenomena.
Many believers make 'deposits' of consciousness. Others process withdrawals, even in the simplest act of asking for a change of heart, mood, or to grow in insight. The process may be the same, but what delineates one faith from another is the tenets, the ideal lifestyle, and social, moral, and legal code, which flow from the creed. Does the faith do more good than harm, or, as in Northern Ireland, Yugoslavia, or Iran, vice-versa?
The basic attitude of Nyall is that, while we do not dismiss the notion of other dimensions, we find no reason that the Gods could not exist in this one. They could live on another planet or somewhere else in the multiverse.
One only needs three basic assumptions to accept the reality of the Gošin (Gods and Goddesses of our Folk):
1. That all life is bound by the laws of evolution
2. That mankind is not the pinnacle of that evolutionary process
3. That there is life elsewhere in the universe
It is a notion which ties in to survival of bodily death by a human consciousness. The Gošin will always be more evolved than we are. Were we to even reach their stage of evolution, they would already have advanced beyond it. There is an infinite amount of life below us and above us. Nordmancium Abcedarium terms us the "man in the middle."
To use the term 'realm', we allow anyone with any interpretation of our faith to relate to what we are saying, whether he or she believes in the Gošin occupy some sort of "spirit world," inhabit another planet, or another dimension.
ALDLAND, AATLAND, and ATLANTIS
As a student of Nordic Esoterica, or as an Odinist, or Asatruar, by whatever term a reader styles himself, to study our ancient religion is to learn from a source, or sources. For most, this becomes a study of the Eddaic writings, preserved in Iceland and Denmark in the Middle Ages. It is often supplemented by readings from sagas and Teutonic folklore. One often neglected text of our Folk begins and ends its chronicle, that of the Frisian people, almost a millennia earlier.
The ra Linda Bók is both a sacred and desultory secular history of the Fris from around 2250 BCE to 250 CE. It has a wide sweep, including stories, from the trekker's experiences, of the Aryan colonization of Dravidanian India, interactions with Greeks and other Mediterranean peoples during the Classical era, and, even, a partial explanation of the melanin in the present occupants of the British Isles- the Fris used non-white prisoners of war to work the tin mines in Southern Britain. Best of all, the OLB contains what the Eddaic sources do only in part and by inference, a Teutonic legal and moral code, the Tex. It would be well worth reading for that reason alone.
By now, you are probably wondering about this essay's title. Fact is that many OLB devotees have read the sections which chronicle a central event in Teutonic development, the sinking of "Aldland" (old land), probably due to the same tectonic upheavals which may have precipitated the volcanic cataclysm at Thera at around 2000 B.C.E. This event marked an exigesis of Teutonic tribes, who would later emerge on the stage of history with terms such as "Indo-Aryan." Eventually, these people would become Macedonians, and, through their conquests, a chain that leads to the Egypt of the Ptolemies.
In reading of this era, especially when cross-referencing it with the two fine (and rare) works by Jürgen Spannuth, Atlantis, the Mystery Unraveled [see synopsis at bottom of this page] and The Atlantis of the North, we easily concluded that Aldland was synonymous with the legendary Atlantis. A Royal Geographic Society expedition of the 1950's, discussed by Spannuth, used Homer's directions to reach Atlantis and ended up in the Frisian area off the coast of today's Holland and Denmark. Squadrons of New Age scholars, trying to site it everywhere from the Bahamas to Thera to off-shore islands in Japan, ignore the actual narrative, which clearly gives Atlantis as the home of the 'Hyperboreans.' To ancient Greeks, this term had very specific meaning- "people of the north wind," hence, the Nordics with whom they had traded for iron and amber.
There is much evidence that there were islands off the Frisian coast, but whether their sinking marked the downfall of a civilization or not can't be resolved. Most likely, as man has always built advanced civilizations on a basis of trade routes and a solid middle class, such centers existed at several points around the world at a time when far more land was gripped by glaciers and, therefore, much land was occupied at the edges of continental shelves that is today submerged. No doubt, the Atlantis story of Homer and Solon refers to an entire genre of city states, replete with powerful fleets, and advanced, technologically, for the time.
In the case of Frisia, the resemblance of Atlantis to Aldland could be misleading, because the center of civilization could as easily have been on the adjacent flood plain, which was to sink in the same series of geological catastrophes at that time. If the reader will look over a map of today's Netherlands, the remaining Frisian Islands seem to make a chain. It outlines something, a missing section of the mainland. It is now called Zuider Zee. This ancient marsh may once have contained a city-state. The marsh would have had hollow reeds, which, even today in widely scattered languages, as in old Toltec, was called 'aatl.' A land bordered by hollow reeds, which well could have been used for writing, could be termed "aatland." In context of The ra Linda Bók, Aldland means "old land," as in a land formerly occupied. A sunken Atlantis is doubtless a repetitive story, like the universal crucified sun-god, referring to a real event is several widely separated cultures. Today's pop-archeologists, who place it only in Guatemala, like the 19th Century promoters, who had it only in the Mid-Atlantic, or off the Azores, have missed the point: in a world whose seas were hundreds of feet lower than today's, cities built on islands, marshes or peninsulas prospered and advanced, but were always at the mercy of the seas. A single tsunami could cancel centuries of culture.
For us as Nordic scholars, the real import of the work of men like Spannuth and Franklin Pierce, translator of the Thet Oera Linda Bók, is this; contrary to the genocidal education which would kill our culture, pride, and memory, we, too, were among the peoples known for advanced cities, great trading centers, which evolved advanced cultures. There was, to be sure, an Atlantis of the North.
On this, there will be much more detail later, but let me report to GS readers, that our ancestors did have a heaven, or two, or three. In working through and translating work by the pioneering Swedish antiquarian Viktor Rydberg, I've learned that our ancestors recognized not one, but three "heavens." They are called Višblain, Uppheimr, and Andlangr.
Rydberg says that we recognized many heavens, which may imply more than these. Sęhrimner, cooked by Andhrimnir in the kettle Eldhrimnir is only a symbol of the pure and unearthly food the einherjar eat, since the first parts of these words, sä-(sjö-), 'And-' and 'Eld-' mean water, spirit, (air), and fire, the three "unearthly" elements. Their common compound element -hrim, is rhime, "the first and finest transition from liquid to solid form." The translation progresses well. There will be lots of good material yet to be unearthed, so stay tuned.